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Home LJS Podcast Play better jazz solos LJS 150: Using Enclosure to Create Bebop Lines Over a Jazz Blues

LJS 150: Using Enclosure to Create Bebop Lines Over a Jazz Blues

Welcome to episode 150 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about a technique called “enclosure.” Enclosure is a way to conceptualize bebop language, and how jazz musicians approach important chord tones. We learn the basics of enclosure and then apply it over a jazz blues. Listen in!

Listen to episode 150

When it comes to becoming a great jazz improviser, I think there are two parts of the puzzle to consider:

  1. Learning it by ear (aka. learning solos, licks…etc)
  2. Conceptualizing it (music theory, techniques…etc)

Today’s episode focuses on the latter one.

One way to conceptualize bebop language (lots of chromaticism and angular melodies), is through a technique called enclosure.

In this episode, I go over the basics of enclosure, how it works, and then I demonstrate a jazz blues etude that utilizes this technique to the max.

Here’s what I go over in today’s episode:

1. Enclosure 101 (video excerpt)

2. Bebop jazz blues etude using enclosure

I mention in this episode that some visual aids may be helpful. So below I have all of the examples I use, including the jazz blues etude.

Video referenced in the show:

Enclosure 101 examples:

Ex. 1

Ex. 2

Ex. 3

Ex. 4

Ex. 5

Ex. 6

Blues Enclosure Etude:

Etude notation

Etude notation (with enclosures circled)

Important Links

LJS 146: 3 Strategies for Improvising Over a Jazz Blues

Learn Jazz Standards Newsletter

Brent Vaartstra
Brent Vaartstra is a professional jazz guitarist and educator living in New York City. He is the head blogger and podcast host for which he owns and operates. He actively performs around the New York metropolitan area and is the author of the Hal Leonard publication "Visual Improvisation for Jazz Guitar." He's also the host of the music entrepreneurship podcast "Passive Income Musician."


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